Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Cat Whys

Prap, Lila (Author/Illustrator)
NorthSouth Books 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780735841253 (hardcover)
Original language: Slovenian
Dewey: 636.8
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Ever wondered why cats do what they do? This non-fiction book about everything feline is told through the voices of two wily mice and one cat expert. One of the mice has a penchant for storytelling, making up tales about why cats are who they are. The other is a wisecracking skeptic who clearly has it in for his predator. At the bottom of each page there is a succinct paragraph with expert information – the correct answer – although the silly ones are equally enjoyable.

We learn all about cat behaviour through humour and fascinating facts. The three distinct voices give very different perspectives on each curious question. “Why do cats purr?” The first mouse recounts a fairy tale: “In a castle there lived a cat princess who snored terribly . . . .” The second mouse sums up, dismissively: “Well, as far as I know, they have a built-in fan to cool them when they get overheated.” And the factual answer begins with: “Cat’s purring is a way of communicating.”

Each double-page spread focuses on a single question laid out at the top in big black font. Large illustrations are textured, whimsical paintings of a cat in action. Rich earth tones fill the pages with subtle complimentary colour schemes.

A fun, quirky and informative take on cats.

  •  

    Work with a group. After reading the author’s note, generate a list of questions about cat behaviour. Compare your list to the topics covered in the book.

  •  

    Explore the structure and features of this book. Discuss how fiction and information are combined. Why is the distinction important for the reader? What is the purpose of the fiction element?

  •  

    Write and perform a Reader's Theatre script based on one of the stories the mice tell to explain cat behaviour. Incorporate the scientific explanation.

  •  

    Write a page for a similar class book featuring a different animal. Invent a story to explain the animal's behaviour. Research the scientific explanation. Add an illustration in the same style. 

  •  

    After reading the author’s note, look at the end pages and generate a list of questions about cat behaviour. Add other questions you may have. Compare your list to the topics covered in the book.

  •  

    With a partner, create a cat character map with information from the cat expert section. Share and add new information (using a different coloured pencil).

  •  

    As a group, create a list of Why questions for a different animal. In small groups, choose one and invent a story to explain the animal’s behaviour. Conduct research to find a scientific explanation. Add illustrations and assemble a class book.

  •  

    Draw a KWL chart. Write what you Know about cats in the first column and what you would Like to know in the second.

  •  

    In small groups, discuss what you each have Learned and add to the third column. Were any questions left unanswered? Research these and add the answers to your notes.

  •  

    In teams of four, write a page for a similar book featuring a different animal. Discuss and agree on four questions and each person will make up a story to explain the animal behaviour. Conduct research to find scientific explanations. Add illustrations in the same style and create a multimedia presentation.

  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology
  • Visual Arts